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State Wildlife Entity Seeks Cameras, Cloud Solution

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued a Request for Information from vendors on body-worn and in-vehicle cameras and a “cloud-based evidence solution.”

State of California Wildlife Officer, Law Enforcement Warden logo on a patrol car.
Rocklin, Calif., Oct. 10, 2019.
(Shutterstock)
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The state department charged with managing and protecting the state’s flora and fauna and their habitats is seeking information from IT companies on provisioning its enforcers.

In a Request for Information (RFI) released Nov. 8, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is calling on vendors to educate it on potentially obtaining a “Body Worn Camera and In-Car Camera System” for its Law Enforcement Division, plus related IT essentials. Among the takeaways:

  • The RFI, CDFW said, is aimed at helping the state learn about available systems from vendors who can deliver body-worn cameras and in-car camera systems as well as a “cloud-based evidence solution and operational support.” CDFW officers, according to the RFI, serve as peace officers directed to “protect fish and wildlife while ensuring the public’s safety throughout California.” They’re typically solo patrol units covering areas that vary from urban to extremely rural and spend half their patrol time outside the patrol vehicle. The majority of their enforcement contacts are in remote areas adjacent to hunting and fishing — without security cameras or “potential witnesses of complaints or allegations of officer misconduct.” Wildlife officers and the department’s roughly 400 patrol vehicles are not equipped with either cameras or a vehicle wireless camera system. “The addition of body worn cameras and in-car cameras will provide an unbiased viewpoint of wildlife officers interactions with members of the public,” the RFI said. “The department believes implementing an in-car camera and (body-worn camera) systems will lead to a decrease in citizen complaints, an increase in public trust with increased transparency, and an increase in perceived legitimacy and sense of procedural justice.”
  • The goal, CDFW said, is for each marked patrol vehicle to have an in-vehicle camera system with two cameras — one front-facing to document interactions between wildlife officers and the public, and the second rear-facing to record in-vehicle prisoner transport. The system should also integrate with the officer’s body-worn camera, so that when either the in-car cameras or the body-worn camera are activated, the others also begin recording. At the end of a patrol shift, cameras should upload all video and audio to the vendor’s “digital evidence management tool” and be stored in a Criminal Justice Information Services-compliant (CJIS) cloud storage server. “CDFW has existing policies concerning the use of in-car and body worn camera systems” and intends to comply with “all requests for video recordings filed under the California Public Records Act,” it said, adding: “CDFW’s goal is to allow for increased documentation of contacts with members of the public, arrests and critical incidents — enhancing officer accountability” as well as boosting the department’s ability to review “probable cause for arrests, interactions between wildlife officers and members of the public,” and serve as additional evidence for potential prosecution and training.
  • The department’s mandatory security requirements for data, technology and storage management include committing in writing to managing data and technology “in accordance with the FBI’s CJIS Security Policy as well as (National Institute of Standards and Technology) NIST 800-53, the California Department of General Services” cloud general and special provisions, the California State Administrative Manual and others. Personnel with access to data, the data center and any other “offeror-managed secured facilities or systems” will need a “fingerprint-based CJIS background check provided by the FBI or the offeror’s state’s CJIS office.” Respondents must “contractually commit to (Standard Occupational Classification) SOC 2 Type II audits” for CJIS and DGS compliance; and attest that all CDFW data will reside within the continental U.S. The solution provided must integrate with CDFW’s identity management platform and credentials, and data must be encrypted to meet CJIS and state requirements.
  • Among the software functionalities needed, it should let CDFW automatically delete videos that exceed record-retention levels, redact audio and video that is being sent to a third-party software or solution; enable sharing video via embedded email link; and have the ability to upload common file types and to download video files in universal format for external storage. The system should be able to access multiple apps from a single workstation, do validation on data entry, synchronize date and time on all audio and video, and restrict access to internal records by user and user group. The system should have an interface for CDFW staff to “define business rules re: data quality validation” on mandatory versus optional fields; and have 24/7 technical support.
  • RFI responses are due by 3 p.m. Nov. 29. Invitations to demonstrate will be sent to selected vendors on Dec. 6. Vendor demonstration day presentations are tentatively set for Dec. 8 or 9.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.